Shia Culture III/IV
Shia Culture III/IV
The Shia Exuberance
The exuberance of the self confidence of the Shias was in the divine of their Imams. They so fastened them to the rope that pulled them towards their Imams and their Imams gave them so paternal a care due from a Master that they basked in the bliss of that eternal flowing tributary of confidence, happiness and piety.
And with marked respect, they approached their Imams when tangles in health, employment, security in life, in the offing of marriages inundated them. But kept the status of the mutual relations for themselves posterior, fearing lest they were attaining closeness more than their fixed level. And they longed to find an abode in the paradise near to their Imam’s in a Kunj – a corner in the great garden where it was cosy, where were flowers and orchards bedecking the arena and pleasant breeze stroked the faces, with the Imams there entertained by the God’s majesty itself and the Momins sighting the scene and sending Durud-o-Salawat and filling their hearts with the infinite of pleasure and basking with the innumerable gifts available in that world of permanency with the eternity of bliss pervading there.
In the friendship domain in this world of temporary abode where the present Imam Mehdi Als’ existential evidence isevery inch proved, they longed for his closeness but thought it was a feat and not an achievable goal, the Imam was so high. But what was not realised was that the requirement of friendship in this world was so acute that even God sought friendship and He created for Him near equal status friends in His creation. He SWT created Nabi and Wali, once He entered in Hukm-e Shani – the intentional order and had His intentions emerge into such intense friendship with them that to one, He SWT invited to visit His domains in the Heavens, beyond the Sidratul Muntaha - beyond the seventh heaven on the night of the Isra and Meraj and in the case of the other, He called the Ummah in Ghadeer-e Khum.
They retracted their journey to return to converge on His order to theProphet who was to put the crown of the World Governorship on the head of His Wali in front of them. And He had it done and praised either of them, on all occasions finding excuses for it and announcedof His friendship with them.
And He did not stop at that. He created lower cadre Walis and called them His personal friends - Allah Walay to glamorise and dazzle the world theatre and enact various scenes and prompted them to be near Him in the harmoniousness of the enactments. And who does not want friends of all categories? I have a feeling that Imam Raza Als is my friend and my salutations to him deep down from the core of my heart. When I go there to submit my respects, he invariably gives me a present. I invariably reach to a shop in some unknown corner of the city and find at most reasoned price souvenir I did not ask him for but had a desire for such a thing. And when I return home people say my face is shining.
The only thing I ever did to deserve that favourwas to comply with his wish that I first visit his Masooma sister’s grave and pay homage to her there at her shrine and then come to him and that I always did, starting from my first pilgrimage in 1966 when I was travelling alone in car from Englandto Pakistan.
And my Lord Imam Husain Als gave me a ring to wear in 1992 when I was extremely unwell, and I could not travel fromSaudi Arabia as the contractor Abral-Watan held my passport for six months making me and everyone work without salary, since they had spent the project money elsewhere. Still they owe me 90,000 Riyals and others many months of salaries. In that country they do such things behind the guise of Iqama.
I remembered my Maula Imam Husain Bin Ali Alsand visited the Rauza-e Husain- the place of ultimate refuge for me. I asked the Imam to cure me atthe Rauza-e Muthar. The Khadim-e Haram – the attendee of the Rauza when I saw him the next day gave me a ring from the Ruaza-e Muthar and said, ‘this is for you from the Rauza’. And I wear that ring till to this day. And while I am writing these lines my heart is filled with love for the high, high Imam. His links and connections withthe Prophet SAWW, the Sayyedatun Nisa-e Aalemeen Bibi Zehra SUA and the Maulay-e Muttaqiyan Hazrat Ali Ibn-e Abi Talib Als are obvious and he is Sarda-e Jawanan-e Jannat – the leader of the youths of Paradise. And his
head recites Quran on the spear, and Qamaray Bani Hashim and Zainab-e Kubra are his avowed helpers.
What illustrious personalities the world had its fortune to see in them. The exemplariness of the Imam made me weep and wail and made my soul do proud for my association with him and my existence inhaling the purity of him, and will the Wahabis like Zakir Naek take any lesson from it.
Zakir Naek says taking a Wasila, even such as the aid of the office of the Rasool Allah SAWW is not allowed in Islam when praying for something from God. Howdevoidof reason and wisdom these misguided are, and even then the Mercy of God feeds them and clothes them and better than the pauper. And yet they have not even a bit of the etiquette to let the culture of devotion touch them.The man more at the higher level of the faith, the more he is of etiquette and his love and devotion to God and the righteous in creation is abound and he becomes a personage of humilities.
The book of etiquette demands that requests be sent through proper channels, it then reaches to the right desk. This, a graduate likeofZakir Naek with a professional degree must know. But because he has a slack on his leash, he behaves as he will, and denounces Wasila and his You Tube blares Yazid Razi Allah.
Since God is gracious, He will entertain a direct appeal to him. There is no inhibition to it. But there is no application worth entertaining if there is no referral in it of the Anamta Alaaihim– of those on whom blessings descended. Further if no affiliation reference address is given, like, Behaqq-e Nabi wa Aal-e Nabi – by dint of Prophet and his progeny it is not through proper channel. And it is wise to make appeal through referrals and through those whom God likes. This speaks of mannerism and it reveals that the appellant is laced with knowledge about the virtues ofwhomGod likes, and his self is vibrant with knowledge. But Zakir Naek knows nothing of it and makes Tableeghof, ‘don’t go near a Wasila’. He is a Wahabi and the Wahabis do not know of the subtleties ofthe Wasila, and they live and swell in the impeachment of their fallacies, devoid of goodness and thediscolouration on them is bound to setin sooner or later.
It is a deliberate policy of the Wahabis to diminish Rasool Allah SAWW’s authorityand ignore his progenies and for that they can be never anything but a walking talking human flesh and bone and no more – not knowing of the sombreness and of the promises God makes for the higher of faith. They only walk inSobe and Keffiyeh or Ghutrah and head Aghal, with all the cladding on them for grace on their faces, but there is no grace of the love of the Aehlebaait on their faces, and least so on the face of Zakir Naek, who has only a flimsy cloth cap on his head. God says in Aayet 2.37:
.......Wa laa tansawul-fazla baynakum .....
Don’t forget the Buzurgi (the reverence of your stations) between you.
This Aayet reminds one to give importance to therevered. But the Wahabis do notwant to know of that and for them the bliss of ignorance is wizardry! It is natureof God that Hegrants a wish if Durud is sent by the praying preceding his prayer, He grants the prayerbecause the Durud becomes the media or the Wasila. And God’s injunction is to send Durud as He and the Angels send. Thenif the Wahabi is so much against the Wasila he will have to stop Durud and stop following Quran and goout of the fixed defines of Islam. And pity the Wahabis are in a bewildered state, because theygo further and do not believe in the Imamat of the Twelve Imams of the House of the Prophet SAWW.
In an administration,if a request can be dispensed with at the lower level,it is not sent to the higher desks. And Zakir Naek is no exception that his prayers must be heard direct by God. He is really secretly advising shunning the use of the office of the Prophet SAWW and of the Walis. Andhe is worse than the Ahmadis because they only question the Prophet’s finality. But their ordeal is the same, the Wahabi due to his ignorance denies of the Prophet’s authority, and the Ahmadi due to his ambition denies of the Prophet’s reality.
And the Ahmadi must be naive to translate the jointed word ‘Khatm-Mursaleen’, asnugget of ring, or ring of the Messengers. They are drawing a meaning which is farfetched and non existential and that shows of their complexity but they continue to live in their world of illusion. They must direct them to the Hauzas – the universities in Qum and Najaf, which are open if they are ever ready to make the voyage to them.
But it is not clear why the Wahabis have so strippedoff from them the assets of Islam. They do not say Bismillah at the beginning of a Surah. They do not send Durud on the progenies of the Prophet SAWW; they do not recognise the Twelve Imams from the Zurriat – the seed of the Prophet SAWW. They do not do Tawaf-e Nisah, they do not prostrate on earth but on carpet. Why these deviationswhy they are so bent on misleading poor Muslims.
When King Khalid Ibn Abdul Aziz AlSaud died they did notlet massattend Namaz-e Janaza and conducted it hurriedly and put the body in the grave and filled the grave with lime for the earliest decomposition of the body. They are so against the graves, destroying them and making arrangements for the dead man’s bones destroyed in the grave fast. They destroy the graves and remove their traces. What is this religion of destruction and why is it in being.
They are trying to destroy the veneration of the Aulia, God due to them due to their veracity. They are friends of God, the propagators of religion. But the Wahabi is doing so on two fronts; one through practical bombing and pulling down theshrines and second through spreading the venom of heresy to mislead Muslims that Wasila is not needed. And it is high time the Muslims got united and brought out a uniform code of conduct for all the Muslims to admit of the Wasila. In fact these Wahabis are the worst violators of norms and yet they are sitting comfortable in Yasrab,guarding their interest from the holiest site theKhana-ay Kaaba. They haveits access only becausethey force-occupied the land of Yasrabbut they will not be there after the appearance of the Twelfth Imam AFS.
They raided and slitthe throat of the Turkish governor and occupied the place. The law of violence and the greed of the rulers allow that practice. But to save them from extinction they must behave and the least wanted of them is toput the canopy on the grave of Bibi Fatimah Zehra SUA they removed in 1925 and to be venerable and not pernicious they return the management of the place to the rightful owners the progenies of the House of the Prophet SAWW.
I first went to Mashhad-e Moqaddas to the Rauza of Imam Raza Als in 1966. At that time I made full rounds of the Tawaf of the Rauza – the circumambulation of the tomb of the pious Imam. It was order of the management of God and the law of Nature that thelesser bodies make the Tawaf of the bigger bodies. Nine smaller planets go round the planet sun and the satellite of the earth, the moon, goes round the bigger planet the earth and there was the Imam in his tomb and I was making circumambulation and paying my homage to him.
The Rauza looked to me glittering, enshrined in imperial majesty. The Imam was wearing the biggest crown I have seen in all the majesty of an Emperorand it was upto the pilgrims to imagine whether the Imam was sitting, sleeping or standing.
Since my first visit in 1966, the Rauza of Imam Raza Als has grown tremendously. So many doors have been added to the Rauza and my singular pleasure is to see the Rauza growing. There is so much happening there. And when I go there I pray with all the humility that ‘O God these Raunaqs – the hustle and bustle and the brilliances I see at the Rauza may they sustain themselves and multiply and my Maula’s grace may increase’. I am sure Imam Raza Als will know of my prayers, and the feelings of my thought will be reaching to him through the media of the telepathy. The force of attraction allows alignment of perceptions and thoughts get transferred from A to B and then there is the Momin’s spirituality and Imam’s piety to back it.
I am next so very obliged to Bibi Zainab SUA. The gift she has given me are the verses of eulogy describing of her credentials. It is translated in my book ‘The House of the Prophet’, which is due to be published shortly.
So to establish relations with the Imams – the infallibles as Friends and Masters a Telstar is not needed through which messages get passed between the Imam and the Momin, of which the Wahabi will not know of and it is the gift of nature to the Shias.The Rauzas of their Imams are their spiritual centres and they are honoured with the grant of one wish after the other Only they aught stand by the side of the Rauza to narrate an incident of Karbala when they go to meet their Imams if they are asked by the Imams to recite it.
Incidents have been reported when theImam has requested to one of the Momins in his dream not to narrate certain scene of the Shahadat of his son or of his brother‘s particular moment in the tragedy as they were too trying to hear. So let our Imams hear of good news as well that what Shias are doing after them in carrying out the responsibilities of Islam that is squarely put on their shoulders.
AndShias must be proud that they were never lax innotmaking the Aza Khana-e Majlis a place worthy of the function it held. They spread white clean Jajam – the cotton gleaming white sheet on the floor, burn incense to spread scent, and even in some houses ventured burning loban – the frankincense of sweet mild smell. They removed decorative pictureswhich could distract the attention of the Momeneen. This was all devotion. How charming, andhow dedicated of them? The art of holding theMajlis has come to them over years and years of their dedication to Majlis. The Soze Khwan knows the moment when to sit at the Masnad - the Ja-ay Soze Khwany or take to Takia, which is at the foot of the Menmber and he begins with Soze -o - Salam.
The choice to the shift to draw a wailing or a hailing verse is the discretion of the Soze Khwan and the articulation of his voice is adjusted accordingly and the ensemble support his Kalam by the dint of lyricism in either, the eulogy and the elegy of the Aehlebaait. And how cannot the Shias be praised for presenting the theatre of wailing that is so sombre that angels come to sit there?
It is said Bibi Zehra SUA comes in these Majalis and the Kings come and sit with their folded arms and the pious with their piety come to standardise their humility there. And an atmosphere is created where an eyebrow is not raised showing a sign of disrespect to the assembled there or a mannerism unbecoming of the Majlis goer’s high standard is depicted there.
And it is the humour of the Zakir thatmaintains the dignity of the Majlis and the Shias as of their duty support their Ulemas to help them to be able to dedicate and excel them in their duty.So let the topics of the Ulemas be varied and bold to keep the listeners abreastof knowledge, and it moving into the space age. The Prophets have always excelled the living technology and let the Zakirs tread in their footsteps
When in grievous difficulty and a distress is appearing taking over a Shia family, the Shia ladies have demonstrated their prowess to ward it off. They stand in their houses under the open sky and make a Faryadi Nauha – imploring through elegy to Maula Ali toremove the distress. When they opened their greying hair and together unionised the voice to chant and call for the help of the Mushkil Kusha – calling Maula-ay Kaenat Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib Als to come to help,the distress was overcome. Their knowledge was that he was helper of Nabis, of Hazrat Suleiman, Hazrat Nooh, Lord Buddha and others. And this was the Maula who had come to the rescue of the Prophet of God Hazrat Mohammad Mustufa SAWW in Khyber. He conquered Khyber for him, when the Prophet called him. And Maula Ali came to the rescue of the calling. Their Nauha goes:
Aai Kul Kay Madar Gar Madad Karnay Ko Aao
Faryad Ko Pahn-cho
Afat Mein Ghiray Haain Hum Hamein Aa Kay Bachao
Faryad Ko Pahn-cho
(Falan) Kam Karao
(Falan) Ki Madad Ko Aao
Such rhythmic Kalam – the literal word and writing were implicit of the faith of the Shia ladies and the voice came from the inner self that:
O helper of all, (O Ali), come to help!
Reach to the distressed!
I (We) are surrounded by distress, come and save us
(That) work, get done.
Or come to the help of (That person)
This was so powerful an imploration that the walls and the surroundings wailed in sympathy with the distressed and the spaces stirred and the prayer went straight throughtearing the space at the lightening speed to the skies and was granted.
Righteousness moved with Hazrat AliAls, following the philosophy and the entelechy of the Imamat, where Hazrat Ali turned it turned and where he stopped it stopped and it was impossible to think that the Faryadi – the distressed imploring and calling to Ali and Ali not coming to help to remove the distress of the distressed. But this happened in the world of the faithful deeply detached from the world of the ordinary, wherein the Shia ladies using the pedestal of the Faryadi Nauha made the imploration and the nonbelieverwill not understand it and neither the Wahabi, of its potentiality. They are not bestowed with that gift of linkage with God and His Wali.
These were the Saidanis and the Mominas out imploring to the Mushkil Kusha and the response was immediate. The Mominas were symbols of chastity and virtue and how not the nature would yield that was in its covert chest. This was an appeal direct to the Mushkil Kusha about whom the Prophet SAWW had said, ‘the Haque - the righteousness turns where to Ali turns’ and appeal to the Haque was bound to be granted. And there was a subtle in it.
When Khyber was running instatus quo for days, and remained unconquered, and the troops were saying; ‘the commander was not valorous and the commander was saying the troops were failing in pursuing the target. And the real cause was the commanders were knuckling under fear, afraid of the fearless warriors of the opponents. In these conditions the Prophet SAWW said, ‘Tomorrow he is going to give the Standard to one who is ‘Karrar’, not a runner from the battlefield and victory will kiss his hand’.
When the morning came, the faithful were out early all gatheringat the camp of the Prophet SAWW and each with a heightened hope, raising his heels to be seen by the Prophet SAWW that the Standard may be given to him. They said let him be that fortunate on whose hand victory will come to sit. They knew that the truthful Prophet has said so and it will be so. With the word of guarantee for victory given out by the ProphetSAWW, they were keener, braver and stronger since the assured victory was to fall in their lap. Right at that moment the Prophet asked where is Ali. He was told Ali was bed ridden, down with sore eyes. The Prophet in Jalal – in the awe and the dignity personified in the Prophethood with enforcing authority said:
Nad-e Aliyan Mazharal Aja-eb Tajedhu Aunan Laka Finnawa-eb
Kullu Hammeuwn Wa Ghammin Sayanjali Bewilayat-e Ka Ya Ali-o, Ya Ali-o, Ya Ali.
Call Ali who is the manifestation for showing wonders, Thou shall surely find him helper in your difficulties, all grief and sorrow shall be removed by thee by thy granted power and authority of Wali O! Ali, O Ali, O Ali help.
And at the third Harf-e Nida – the word of call of ‘O Ali’, Ali was seen coming and was in front of the Prophet SAWW. His eyes were sore. The Prophet SAWW applied his saliva in his eyes which cured the eyes as if they were never inflicted with sore and the Prophet gave him the standard and decorated him with the battle dress and Ali conquered Khyber.
This call of the Nad-e Ali and the bestowal of the standard by the Prophet SAWW to his deputy Hazrat Ali Als, was the great gift to the House of the Imamat – the House of Hazrat Ali Als and it has remained with the Imams of the House of the Prophet SAWW since then, generations after generation and is the heritage of the Shias and they carry it in front of their processions in Moharram. And the ‘Nad-e Ali,’ is the most important tool of the Shias. They recite it for strength and to drive away ill fortunes.
Sayed Athar Husain
Afkar-e Shia (Shia Thought)
4. 9. 2010
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